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Notre Dame Football

The Back Corner Fade

October 14, 2020
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I’ve always been a fan of David Bowie’s music and “Space Oddity” kept playing in my head as I watched the Irish rumble through the Florida State defense on Saturday evening. For those of you young whippersnappers who don’t know that tune, the famous line in the song is “ground control to Major Tom.” Yes, the Irish ground control was in control and Major Tom…Rees had the ‘Noles on their heels all night.

While this wasn’t the crisp beat down we all were hoping for, especially on defense and special teams, it was still a comfortable win against a team rebuilding after a two week hiatus. I liken it to a hitter coming off the 21-Day DL and going one for ten his first few games back. Sure, they might have been taking BP in the cage, but it’s not the same as seeing live bullets. Hopefully, the missed tackles and missed assignments were just that: getting back to live game action. I find it very hard to believe that ND will play that poorly again on defense and that Clark Lea’s troops will look a lot better this week against Louisville.

So what did we learn this past week? 

The Tom Herman Hot Seat is officially on…again. There’s simply no reason that Texas should be this bad. They can recruit like nobody’s business, they have as fine of facilities as there are in college football, and frankly, since Tom Herman has been there, the Big 12 has been awful. Sure, OU has had nice teams but they also have been exposed as complete frauds when January rolls around. If Herman can’t win at least 10 a year with what he can bring in and against the competition in his league, that’s squarely on him.

You know who I feel bad for this week? The defensive players at Alabama and coordinator Pete Golding. I’m sure Nick Saban is more than salty this week after the 48 points and 650 yards to Ole Miss in a wild one in Oxford. Forget this game for a second, if you look at the scores and total yardage being put in in the SEC so far this year, it looks like the Big 12 with better players. St. Nick mentioned that he thought Ole’ Miss was stealing their defensive signals. Huh? Maybe it’s that your players tackling sucks and your scheme was bad. In the words of Milli Vanilli, “Blame it on the Rain,” Nick. Again, young guys, that was a tune from the 90’s.

I wonder if Bo Pellini got on the blower with his agent trying to get him a gig at another obscure outpost where nobody cares and his ineptness as a coach won’t be noticed. 586 yards to a awful Missouri team just two weeks removed from giving up over 600 against the Pirate makes that decision to pay him damn near Brent Venebales scratch look, well, bad. Again, like Tom Herman, you have dudes that can play all over the field. This is simply coaching. Pellini vs. Coach O in the octagon. I’m in.

Clemson went out and did Clemson things rolling Miami and putting them back in their place as a nice, little ACC team and quell the hype that “The U is Back.” Don’t feel bad, Miami, they’ve done that to a few people the last few years. I’m not going to say too much because they could do the very same thing to ND in a few weeks, but any time Miami wears one, an angel gets it’s wings.

Anyone else feel bad for Florida? Didn’t think so. Another wild one in the SEC which I do believe now stands for Score Every Chance.

As we enter the next week of the college season what kind of fun things do we have to look forward to? I hate to have to keep talking about the SEC games, but frankly that’s where the games worth watching are. Here we go:

Mike Leach got a huge win at LSU the first game out, then they had a clunker against a bad Arkansas team the next week. What will the Bulldogs look like with a week of rest against Texas A&M, fresh off the Florida upset, look like this week? Same can really be said for the Aggies who looked like a Kevin Sumlin team against Alabama and a R.C Slocum team against the Gators. Check that, R.C. had the Wrecking Crew and played defense (enter Bob Davie joke here.) I still believe K.J. Costello had his shining moment against LSU and it’ll be average K.J. the rest of the way out. That’s not going to get it done. A&M 42-31.

Florida plays host to LSU this week. What do you think an angry Gator offense is going to do to Bo’s boys…..uh, oh. I’m laying the O/U in total yards for Florida at 525. Florida is also suppose to be opening up the doors to 88k fans. I’m going to go Dr. Fauci here and just say that’s probably not the best of ideas.

Last but not least, the game of the week takes place in T-Town as Georgia takes on Alabama in the early season’s highest rated match-up. Georgia is an enigma. They looked horrible in the first half against Arkansas then blew them out. Awesome all game against Auburn, and then a similar scenario against a meh Tennessee team (bad first half, great second half.) They play like that against Alabama and they will get boat raced. Stetson Bennett IV, Georgia QB and Thurston Howell’s love child, has been a great story, but can he beat a Bama defense that will be angry and ready to take it out on someone after what I imagine will be a “spirited” week of practice?  We’ll also find out how good Mac Jones really is going up against a extremely fast and deep Georgia front seven. I’m looking forward to this one! Alabama 27-21.

That’s pretty much it for games worth the time to talk about. Maybe next week I’ll breakdown the Marshall-La. Tech clash. Please hurry up and start playing again Pac-10 and Big 10, we need to crack wise at your expense.

Notre Dame plays host to Louisville this next week in a game that before the season I had worried as a potential “trap game.” Fast forward a month and Louisville has not lived up to the billing at all. I really like Scott Satterfield, and even with the slow start for the Cards, is one of the up-and-coming coaches in the business. It’s only four games into year two, and he had a major rebuild ahead of him when Bobby Petrino and his Harley (with or without co-ed passenger) got out of town. 

Louisville has plenty of weapons on offense to keep them in the game, but from what I’ve seen, aren’t playing with much confidence at all and look tight. With the lack of defense that they play, the pressure is squarely on their offense to keep them in games and it shows. 

Because of the talent and speed they have at WR (I see you TuTu Atwell) they probably will hit on some big plays and cause ND fans to contemplate doing their best Whitey Ford, Bob Gibson, or Tom Seaver (rest in peace, you true legends) and use your remote to throw a fastball at the TV. That being said, I have a very hard time seeing the Cards being able to sustain drives. That and coupled with their truly awful defense, it should, and will, all add up to a comfortable win and set the stage for the first road trip of the year against a pesky Pitt team. 

Louisville has the talent on offense to hang around for a half, but to think they have enough to beat the Irish? No, and if you do, “You Have Another Thing Coming.” That’s a song by a group called Judas Priest, young Irish fans and it was and is very cool. ND 41-21.

Beat Louiville.

 
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